Former Square Enix staff join Mistwalker

Former Final Fantasy developers team up with Hironobu Sakaguchi on Xbox Next RPG titles.


According to the latest issue of Famitsu magazine, two former developers at Square Enix are working under Hironobu Sakagichi's label Mistwalker, and they are participating in the creation of two role-playing games for Microsoft's next-generation console, commonly referred to as the Xbox Next.

Daisuke Fukugawa, who worked on the PlayStation games Final Fantasy Tactics and Legend of Mana, is in charge as project director for Mistwalker's Xbox Next role-playing game development. Fukagawa’s job is to organize what's happening in development alongside Sakaguchi, although it isn't clear if he's working on one or both of the RPGs. Sakaguchi also has one of Square's very first 3D modelers working for his studio. Hiroshi Arai, a graphic designer who has worked on 3D games since Final Fantasy VII and supervised the 3D modeling in Final Fantasy IX, is handling the modeling for one or both of the Xbox Next RPGs as well.

Sakaguchi comments in the interview that development on the two titles is going smoothly, although the preproduction stages have taken some time. Sakaguchi also confirmed that the games will be single-player titles rather than online games. However, he also said that he would like to add some form of online element to each, especially since Xbox Next is slated to have even more online features than the current model.

The games are being cocreated by Mistwalker and Microsoft Gaming Studios. Mistwalker makes the game's contents, such as its script and music, while Microsoft Gaming Studios works on the technical aspects, such as the actual coding. Over one hundred employees will be involved in the development of the two games.

Sakaguchi revealed that the two RPGs for the Xbox Next are the only games that he is currently making for next-generation consoles, which hints that he doesn't have anything going for the PlayStation 3 right now. Sakaguchi commented that he decided to make games for the Xbox Next because of his relations to staff members at Xbox Japan and not because of the machine's specs. Xbox Japan chief Yoshihiro Maruyama and Microsoft Game Studios Japan R & D chief Hiroshi Kawai were both former employees of Square. Sakaguchi also added that he has no interest in getting involved in the next-generation console war.

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